Caeleb Dressel Slots Into ‘A’ Final As Ryan Murphy Scratches 100 Fly At U.S. Nationals

by Ben Dornan 53

June 29th, 2023 National, News


Reigning Olympic gold medalist and two-time 100 fly world champion Caeleb Dressel will indeed swim in the ‘A’ final of the event at the U.S. National Championships, but he needed a little help to get there.

Dressel finished ninth in this morning’s prelims in a time of 51.95 but has been bumped up into the top eight for tonight’s session after the scratch of Ryan Murphy, who placed second in a significant personal best of 51.35.

Although the 100 fly has always served as an ‘extra’ event for Murphy and he’s never appeared to give it much focus, if he did end up qualifying to swim it at Worlds, the semis would come prior to the final of the 200 back.

Prior to Murphy’s scratch, it appeared as though the two U.S. qualifiers in the men’s 100 fly from the 2022 World Championships wouldn’t even have the opportunity to vie for a spot this year, as Dressel was ninth and Michael Andrew, who ranked sixth in the world last year and placed fourth in Budapest, was back in 13th (52.47).

Dressel was the fastest man in the event in 2022, having clocked 50.01 in the prelims at World Trials, and Andrew also broke 51 seconds (50.88) while splitting 50.06 on the 400 medley relay at Worlds as the U.S. won silver.

While it wasn’t out of the question, Dressel wasn’t necessarily expected to easily qualify for the ‘A’ final. After his early withdrawal from the 2022 World Championships, Dressel took several months off from the sport and only recently started racing again. In his first event this week, he fell well shy of the championship final in the men’s 100 free, touching in 49.42 to place 29th overall in the prelims. Due to some scratches, he got to race again in the ‘C’ final, where he finished in 49.64.

The 26-year-old bounced back and had a strong showing in the 50 fly on Wednesday, placing third in 23.35, which was exactly a second slower than his American record and just 0.15 seconds slower than Dare Rose‘s 23.20 for second place.

Andrew won the event in 23.11, which will earn him a spot on the World Champs team assuming the roster cap of 26 is not exceeded before he is added for that event.

Unless Dressel is able to produce some outside smoke tonight, the U.S. could very well end up sending two news swimmers in the men’s 100 fly to the World Championships.

Dressel and Andrew are the only two men still actively racing who have repped the Stars and Stripes at the event, as other former entrants such as Jack Conger, Tom Shields, and Tim Phillips have retired. Several of the men who will swim in the final, however, have experience racing at the World Championships and the Olympics, including Shaine Casas, Zach Harting, and Trenton Julian. Other entrants include star junior Thomas Heilman, Gabriel Jett, Luke Miller, and top seed Dare Rose.

Rose was the only man to crack 51 seconds in the prelims while the other eight finalists swam between 51.37 (Casas) and 51.95 (Dressel). Those seven men were all under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 51.96 and touched within a 0.58-second window. Dressel may have been out of the final originally, but he’s now got an outside land and therefore, a chance.

Tune in tonight to see whether the reigning Olympic champion will get back in his groove and make it onto the team.

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4 months ago

When did Shields announce his retirement…I don’t recall any mention

Outside Smoke
5 months ago

My time to shine!

Jalen T
5 months ago

So the Coward probably had to bully Murphy into scratching out so he can save himself the embarsssment… my dislike for him continues to grow

Reply to  Jalen T
5 months ago

Shut up loser.

Reply to  Jalen T
5 months ago

are you okay? it’s not healthy to harbor this much dislike for a man you’ve never met who is just living his own life, not hurting anyone. consider therapy

Reply to  Jalen T
5 months ago

Are you 12?

Beginner Swimmer at 25
5 months ago

I think the 50 fly last night was his best chance to make the team. He doesn’t have a full aerobic base for the 100s and Dressel has always been better at butterfly than he is at freestyle especially when freestyle requires more VO2 max. A lackluster 49.2 means he is not churning water well enough for the 50 free but his butterfly is so good he can dad strength his way to third in the 50 fly.

5 months ago

There goes our shot of an Armstrong-Fink-Murphy-Alexy medley relay

D3 Warrior
5 months ago

manifesting heilman rose🙏🙏🙏

Reply to  D3 Warrior
5 months ago

ur manifestation is now reality

Ceccon - Kamminga - Milak - Popovici
Reply to  D3 Warrior
5 months ago

A prophet!

Max Hardie
5 months ago

He has swum faster in the evenings so hopefully he can do a 51.5 this evening. I wish Heilman grabs one spot.

Comfy Pants
5 months ago

Appreciate all the excellent coverage, SwimSwam!

Ben Dornan
Reply to  Comfy Pants
5 months ago

thanks comfy pants